I’ll Bet You Didn’t Know: A Look Back

By Laura Hayes, Diversions Editor

A Look back on the Paladin
In the 1990s, the traditional MyTie dances took place in the Dining Hall and consisted of a woman’s roommate setting her up with a date. Photo courtesy of Special Collections and Archives, Furman University


The Furman archives can be a real eye-opener.

The average Furman student goes through his or her academic career accepting and participating in the traditions of the freshmen MyTie dance, visiting his or her friends in the wee hours of the morning, studying for tests in classrooms and maybe working on homecoming floats before going to the dance.

But these “Furman norms” were not always the way we perceive them to be today. After taking a closer look through The Paladin archives, I discovered the beginnings of some of the Furman happenings that we take for granted in 2016.

The MyTie dance, a first-year tradition to mingle the new students, used to consist of women borrowing men’s ties. A woman’s roommate would match her up with a date and contact the date’s roommate to get a tie. The women wore the ties to the MyTie dance, held in the Dining Hall and sponsored by what was then the Resident Hall Council, where all the men would try to find their ties and meet their dates.

Theoretically, the match-ups were a surprise, but a lot of dates already had an idea of who their date would be, according to a 1996 issue of The Paladin. Additionally, brother-sister halls went out to dinner beforehand, a tradition that continues at Furman to this day.

Homecoming has also been an evolving tradition in the eyes of Furman. Originally, the homecoming dance after the big game was a dinner-dance for alumni, according to a 1980 issue of The Paladin. Also, the night before homecoming was known as “Work Night” to all the Greek organizations who worked on assembling floats.

Furman has hundreds of other traditions that we might not even know about anymore, which is why it pays to know your history. The Paladin archives can be found here. Happy history hunting.




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